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kuroimori

Basho Talk - Hatsu Basho 2016 +++ Spoiler Alert! +++

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After thinking about how Harumafuji and Hakuho have been looking these basho, not to mention Kakuryu, and that fact that Terunofuji will no doubt look horrible, and that a lot of the upper-rankers are gonna be younger guys next basho, I don't feel as pessimistic about his chances.

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To be honest I'm a bit bewildered by all the yokozuna promotion talk for Kotoshogiku. I mean, yeah it's fun to speculate but it's Kotoshogiku who we are talking about. I personally think he won't be in yusho contention next basho...

... Kotoshogiku can prove me wrong of course ;)

How many people seriously believed that Kakuryu was going to convert his tsuna run? I wasn't around back then, but his record didn't seem very Yokozuna-like up until the point he won 28 matches in 2 tournaments. Now he averages just a notch above Kisenosato, and Kisenosato isn't doing too well himself. If there really had been lingering problems from injuries that are now cleared up, there's no reason that he can't put up another result as good as the last one. The question of whether he actually will is up in the air, but his most recent performance shows that it's certainly possible, and he didn't exactly win his matches by flukes; he showed good quality sumo. Even if he is a bit of a one-trick pony, it's a very solid trick.

Conversely, judging from the polls taken at the beginning of 2014, there were lots of people that assumed that Kisenosato would convert his own tsuna run, or at least manage to get promoted some time during that year, but that didn't even come close to happening.

Edited by Gurowake
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To be honest I'm a bit bewildered by all the yokozuna promotion talk for Kotoshogiku. I mean, yeah it's fun to speculate but it's Kotoshogiku who we are talking about. I personally think he won't be in yusho contention next basho...

... Kotoshogiku can prove me wrong of course ;)

How many people seriously believed that Kakuryu was going to convert his tsuna run? I wasn't around back then, but his record didn't seem very Yokozuna-like up until the point he won 28 matches in 2 tournaments. Now he averages just a notch above Kisenosato, and Kisenosato isn't doing too well himself. If there really had been lingering problems from injuries that are now cleared up, there's no reason that he can't put up another result as good as the last one. The question of whether he actually will is up in the air, but his most recent performance shows that it's certainly possible, and he didn't exactly win his matches by flukes; he showed good quality sumo. Even if he is a bit of a one-trick pony, it's a very solid trick.

Conversely, judging from the polls taken at the beginning of 2014, there were lots of people that assumed that Kisenosato would convert his own tsuna run, or at least manage to get promoted some time during that year, but that didn't even come close to happening.

Well you can tell how much faith people in this forum had in Kotoshogiku to keep his rank by the end of 2016. The poll taken below before the start of the Hatsu basho indicates as much. And yes I was one of those people. Now I'm sure everybody's doing a double take on that.

http://www.sumoforum.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=34717

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To be honest I'm a bit bewildered by all the yokozuna promotion talk for Kotoshogiku. I mean, yeah it's fun to speculate but it's Kotoshogiku who we are talking about. I personally think he won't be in yusho contention next basho...

... Kotoshogiku can prove me wrong of course ;)

How many people seriously believed that Kakuryu was going to convert his tsuna run? I wasn't around back then, but his record didn't seem very Yokozuna-like up until the point he won 28 matches in 2 tournaments. Now he averages just a notch above Kisenosato, and Kisenosato isn't doing too well himself. If there really had been lingering problems from injuries that are now cleared up, there's no reason that he can't put up another result as good as the last one. The question of whether he actually will is up in the air, but his most recent performance shows that it's certainly possible, and he didn't exactly win his matches by flukes; he showed good quality sumo. Even if he is a bit of a one-trick pony, it's a very solid trick.

Conversely, judging from the polls taken at the beginning of 2014, there were lots of people that assumed that Kisenosato would convert his own tsuna run, or at least manage to get promoted some time during that year, but that didn't even come close to happening.

Kak didn't deserve the nod. They literally changed the rule for him, since every Yokozuna prior for the last 15 years had to win two in a row.

His last cheapskate tournament win didn't exactly justify his promotion either.

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To be honest I'm a bit bewildered by all the yokozuna promotion talk for Kotoshogiku. I mean, yeah it's fun to speculate but it's Kotoshogiku who we are talking about. I personally think he won't be in yusho contention next basho...

... Kotoshogiku can prove me wrong of course ;)

How many people seriously believed that Kakuryu was going to convert his tsuna run? I wasn't around back then, but his record didn't seem very Yokozuna-like up until the point he won 28 matches in 2 tournaments. Now he averages just a notch above Kisenosato, and Kisenosato isn't doing too well himself. If there really had been lingering problems from injuries that are now cleared up, there's no reason that he can't put up another result as good as the last one. The question of whether he actually will is up in the air, but his most recent performance shows that it's certainly possible, and he didn't exactly win his matches by flukes; he showed good quality sumo. Even if he is a bit of a one-trick pony, it's a very solid trick.

Conversely, judging from the polls taken at the beginning of 2014, there were lots of people that assumed that Kisenosato would convert his own tsuna run, or at least manage to get promoted some time during that year, but that didn't even come close to happening.

Kak didn't deserve the nod. They literally changed the rule for him, since every Yokozuna prior for the last 15 years had to win two in a row.

His last cheapskate tournament win didn't exactly justify his promotion either.

So those couple of times that they said they'd promote Kisenosato if he won the next one, they were just joking?

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So those couple of times that they said they'd promote Kisenosato if he won the next one, they were just joking?

And Tochiazuma and Kaio long before that, too.

Some people just don't want to learn anything, no matter how many times it's being explained to them.

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So those couple of times that they said they'd promote Kisenosato if he won the next one, they were just joking?

And Tochiazuma and Kaio long before that, too.

Some people just don't want to learn anything, no matter how many times it's being explained to them.

And some people will always stick their nose in at any chance they get to be nasty.

Edited by rzombie1988

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Of course Kotoshogiku will also have a parade in his hometown Yanagawa-city, Fukuaoka. This time not in a car but in a boat, on the city's canals. He had one like this for ozeki promotion, in October 2011.
A bit into the preparations for Haru: on March the 5th - the basho starts on the 13th.
http://www.sanspo.com/sports/news/20160129/sum16012916450004-n1.html
Yanagawa-city has ordered 230 of these flags, saying "Thank you for the excitement! The pride of Yanagawa - Kotoshogiku-zeki"
20160128-OYTNI50063-L.jpg
30 have been delivered so far, these above are placed near the city hall. The other 200 will be placed near the sightseeing boat-course (surely where the parade will take place) and such places.
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/local/fukuoka/news/20160128-OYTNT50279.html

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Kotoshogiku on the 21st next month will have a yusho parade in Matsudo-city, Chiba, where the heya is located.

The route isn't fixed yet, maybe the same as Kotooshu for his yusho Natsu 2008, with start at JR Matsudo station west entrance.

Kotoshogiku will try to follow the path of his first shisho, yokozuna Kotozakura.

Back-to-back yusho with both 14-1 (to make it 4 then, his first at age 27) to become yokozuna at age 32 after 32 basho as ozeki, only 2 times 10 wins the year before that and 1-2-12, 8-7, 9-6 just before. Then only 6 finished basho as yokozuna (with 1 yusho and one jun-yusho) before retirement. The last Japanese yokozuna Wakanohana III had a better record as ozeki but even worse as yokozuna (5 finished basho with one of them makekoshi, 2 jun yusho).

http://www.sanspo.com/sports/news/20160128/sum16012805000002-n1.html

Both Kotozakura and Waka-III won 5 career yusho, although their yokozuna careers were disastrous. No one here will believe Kotoshogiku will ever win 5 yusho......

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Not really to be honest. Ōzeki is the second highest rank and should not be a revolving door. It should bring some additional benefits to the rikishi who manage to be promoted. And a "weak" Ōzeki can maintain his rank by going MK-KK-MK-KK for only so long. Eventually he will end up being demoted.

Or retiring.

In 2009 as an ozeki Kaio became the first rikishi to score 8-7 in all six basho in a calendar year. The Kyokai didn't say anything about it, and he just kept on chugging. Also, Chiyotaikai holds the record for most kadoban as ozeki at 14, while Kaio is just behind him at 13. Yet the Kyokai didn't say anything to make them fall out or retire, the fact is that ozeki are not going to be under as much pressure as Yokozuna when it comes to maintaining their rank. Really simple, get your KK, you get to stay. You're not worthy of Yokozuna, but you help to keep things interesting in the basho. As there is a such thing as "great" Yokozuna, there is also a such as thing as "great" Ozeki. They achieved lots of things as Ozeki, for which they are remembered for. If an Ozeki is doing great but then gets promoted to Yokozuna, his career might falter. We've seen that happen quite a bit with certain Yokozuna who had great performances as Ozeki but then when they started to bloom it turned to be their downfall as they couldn't handle that pressure to maintain the Yokozuna quality of sumo and performance.

While I don't disagree with the general sentiment, and have no problem with Ozeki on the decline like Chiyotaikai or Kaio (or even Kotooshu) clinging to their rank (even including some respectful assistance from their friends from time to time), for me the big difference is that we are talking about rikishi with a long Ozeki-worthy career.

If the Kyokai is planning to promote more Goeidos who never have achieved any sort of Ozeki worthiness before achieving the rank, and never rise up to the rank after getting it, then the heavy rank protection becomes a problem.

Sure, Chiyotaikai and Kaio were no worse than many yokozuna, and I don't believe they really wanted to cling to their rank after they no longer qualified for it. However the NSK needed them to be on the banzuke as Ozeki because if they were demoted or retired there would be no Japan-born (or with Japanese citizenship) on the top two ranks thus no rikishi can attend some kind of meeting to vote (I'm not sure what meeting and what to vote for, but it seems only Ozeki and Yokozuna with Japanese citizenship can vote on that meeting).

Currently there's no problem for Kise to keep his rank, but Goeido needs a lot of help and may not survive the next basho. If Geek is promoted but can't survive it, it will become a problem. I don't see any Japan-born rikishi has the potential to make an Ozeki in 1 or 2 years.

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Hey, I think Goeidou might make it to ozeki in the next couple years.

You mean after he gets demoted after next basho?

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Hey, I think Goeidou might make it to ozeki in the next couple years.

You mean after he gets demoted after next basho?

In comedic jargon this is known as a "joke".

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One of the shinpan is the head of Isegahama beya. First, he decided that Aminishiki had won (and it was way too close to identify a winner there) and then he decided that Goeido grabbed the topknot of Takarafuji (this was also not clearly to see). Two questionable wins for Isegahama and another open komusubi spot for Takarafuji by the way... (Scratching chin...)

Yes, I know this was over a week ago, but I had been thinking about this and wondering if there's any other professional sport with judges/referees/whatever where the participants' coaches are among the people called on to make rulings about their players. Can you imagine football or baseball with one of the refs or umps being a coach of one of the teams? Do the oyakata not participate in the discussions about their rikishi? I certainly hope not, but from the sound of the discussion surrounding this it doesn't seem like it. How is such a thing tolerated at all? You obviously can't go overboard in siding with your rikishi, but I have to imagine that you can't be seen as impartial.

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One of the shinpan is the head of Isegahama beya. First, he decided that Aminishiki had won (and it was way too close to identify a winner there) and then he decided that Goeido grabbed the topknot of Takarafuji (this was also not clearly to see). Two questionable wins for Isegahama and another open komusubi spot for Takarafuji by the way... (Scratching chin...)

Yes, I know this was over a week ago, but I had been thinking about this and wondering if there's any other professional sport with judges/referees/whatever where the participants' coaches are among the people called on to make rulings about their players. Can you imagine football or baseball with one of the refs or umps being a coach of one of the teams? Do the oyakata not participate in the discussions about their rikishi? I certainly hope not, but from the sound of the discussion surrounding this it doesn't seem like it. How is such a thing tolerated at all? You obviously can't go overboard in siding with your rikishi, but I have to imagine that you can't be seen as impartial.

Certainly from a Western perspective this seems absurd, but for me it is one of the things that distinguishes sumo from other 'sports'. Like yaocho (not in the sense often talked about on here but in the sense it actually does occur now and then), it is quintessentially 'sumo' and Japanese. You get moments like that with Isegagama this basho and it did look bad, especially happening in the way it did twice on the same day for his own deshi, but overall I've never noticed any particular bias from shinpan towards their deshi.

I suppose it bothers me less because I look at sumo in the long-term: how a rikishi does in one basho doesn't bother me in the slightest - I judge them over their career. A lad can be awful one tournament for whatever reason and then be on fire the next! Now I'm rambling...but what I'm trying to say is that these little incidents (irritating though they can be at the time - and they certainly can be) are trivial and essentially meaningless. For me anyway! ;)

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Of course Kotoshogiku will also have a parade in his hometown Yanagawa-city, Fukuaoka. This time not in a car but in a boat, on the city's canals. He had one like this for ozeki promotion, in October 2011.

A bit into the preparations for Haru: on March the 5th - the basho starts on the 13th.

Yanagawa-city has ordered 230 of these flags, saying "Thank you for the excitement! The pride of Yanagawa - Kotoshogiku-zeki"

30 have been delivered so far, these above are placed near the city hall. The other 200 will be placed near the sightseeing boat-course (surely where the parade will take place) and such places.

and the flags are already at the parade course http://www.asahi.com/articles/ASJ1Y56DTJ1YTGPB00P.html

AS20160129004311_comm.jpg

those redirecting taxes to the home-town now get this set from Yanagawa-city as a yusho commemoration

AS20160129004307_comm.jpg

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One of the shinpan is the head of Isegahama beya. First, he decided that Aminishiki had won (and it was way too close to identify a winner there) and then he decided that Goeido grabbed the topknot of Takarafuji (this was also not clearly to see). Two questionable wins for Isegahama and another open komusubi spot for Takarafuji by the way... (Scratching chin...)

Yes, I know this was over a week ago, but I had been thinking about this and wondering if there's any other professional sport with judges/referees/whatever where the participants' coaches are among the people called on to make rulings about their players. Can you imagine football or baseball with one of the refs or umps being a coach of one of the teams? Do the oyakata not participate in the discussions about their rikishi? I certainly hope not, but from the sound of the discussion surrounding this it doesn't seem like it. How is such a thing tolerated at all? You obviously can't go overboard in siding with your rikishi, but I have to imagine that you can't be seen as impartial.

I think there have been some cases in Finnish MMA events where the referee was also a manager of a team and an organizer for the event. But I'm not absolutely sure of that so I'm not going to state this as a fact.

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One of the shinpan is the head of Isegahama beya. First, he decided that Aminishiki had won (and it was way too close to identify a winner there) and then he decided that Goeido grabbed the topknot of Takarafuji (this was also not clearly to see). Two questionable wins for Isegahama and another open komusubi spot for Takarafuji by the way... (Scratching chin...)

Yes, I know this was over a week ago, but I had been thinking about this and wondering if there's any other professional sport with judges/referees/whatever where the participants' coaches are among the people called on to make rulings about their players. Can you imagine football or baseball with one of the refs or umps being a coach of one of the teams? Do the oyakata not participate in the discussions about their rikishi? I certainly hope not, but from the sound of the discussion surrounding this it doesn't seem like it. How is such a thing tolerated at all? You obviously can't go overboard in siding with your rikishi, but I have to imagine that you can't be seen as impartial.

Certainly from a Western perspective this seems absurd, but for me it is one of the things that distinguishes sumo from other 'sports'. Like yaocho (not in the sense often talked about on here but in the sense it actually does occur now and then), it is quintessentially 'sumo' and Japanese. You get moments like that with Isegagama this basho and it did look bad, especially happening in the way it did twice on the same day for his own deshi, but overall I've never noticed any particular bias from shinpan towards their deshi.

I suppose it bothers me less because I look at sumo in the long-term: how a rikishi does in one basho doesn't bother me in the slightest - I judge them over their career. A lad can be awful one tournament for whatever reason and then be on fire the next! Now I'm rambling...but what I'm trying to say is that these little incidents (irritating though they can be at the time - and they certainly can be) are trivial and essentially meaningless. For me anyway! ;)

Yes, it is absurd, when Americans are taught not just to be impartial, but to avoid any possible appearance of bias. I'm an accountant, and there is a long list of things that auditors are not allowed to do with respect to the audited firm because they create a tension between the welfare of the auditor and possible negative results of the audit. This includes holding any stock in any company you audit, regardless of how little have invested. You can't have any close relatives be employees or have any decently close relatives be key figures in the company. The profession wants to make absolutely clear that the results of their work are not influenced at all by personal factors, and they go well out of their way to make sure that it's not even possible to accuse them of being biased because there is no possible motive for them to be biased. I suppose this is because Americans tend to assume that people will act towards their best interests and not towards the common good, while in Japanese culture the exact opposite is true.

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I suppose this is because Americans tend to assume that people will act towards their best interests and not towards the common good, while in Japanese culture the exact opposite is true.

Or to nip any suspicion in the bud which could be used in one of the notorious American lawsuits. B-)

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There are 5 shinpan, not one. There is a video booth. I highly doubt that the other 5 shinpans all wanted Takarafuji to get to komusubi. FWIW, it sure looked like a clear hair-pull to me, watching the "better" feeds out there from various angles. Of course it wasn't on purpose, but the purpose, as we all know, is irrelevant. As for Isegahama "deciding" anything (apropos Aminishiki), he doesn't. He just relays the result of the discussion and video booth guy's take to the public at large. There are 9 people situated in primo real estate around the dohyo who can call a monoii at any given time, even if Isegahama doesn't. It's not like he has an overriding veto vote or something.

But we all know that.

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Oh, I have no doubt that there was absolutely nothing sinister going on, and the fact that the shimpan are also oyakata who have deshi competing under their watch never really bothered me even though I theoretically knew about it because it just wasn't something I had made the connection on. It took someone bringing it up directly that made me think about it, and made me realize how much is done in my profession, and in the American culture in general, to keep things away from any appearance of sinister motivations. It's not a matter of whether people are impartial, but a matter of there being potential reasons why they might not be impartial, and steps are taken to minimize those potential reasons. If I had been asked about it previously, I would have said it was obvious that oyakata wouldn't be given any say in matters concerning rikishi from their stable. I would even say the same within their ichimon, given how each shimpan is from a different ichimon and thus there's at least 3 that won't be from either ichimon of the rikishi. Of course, most oyakata probably know very little about toriteki from other stables and wouldn't probably even realize who was from where in terms of ichimon, but the point is that I had assumed that there were rules regarding propriety of judging that required the large number of them and their spread across ichimon. But if it's not considered a problem because of their culture placing a higher level of trust in people in authority to do what's appropriate compared to my culture, then that's just how it is.

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The winning/losing is clear-cut in Sumo, even viewers can judge correctly in most cases. With video replay in TV, almost everyone knows it if wrongly judged and there'll be immense public pressure on NSK. There's no space for bias to exist.

On the other hand, it's almost impossible to clearly identify a bout as "yaocho" or "mukyurioku" (if no money exchange occurred). However, because "yaocho" or "mukyurioku" is closely related to Japan culture, those who really know Japan culture and sumo can see it. Interestingly, most of those who really know usually keep their mouths shut.

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The winning/losing is clear-cut in Sumo, even viewers can judge correctly in most cases. With video replay in TV, almost everyone knows it if wrongly judged and there'll be immense public pressure on NSK. There's no space for bias to exist.

On the other hand, it's almost impossible to clearly identify a bout as "yaocho" or "mukyurioku" (if no money exchange occurred). However, because "yaocho" or "mukyurioku" is closely related to Japan culture, those who really know Japan culture and sumo can see it. Interestingly, most of those who really know usually keep their mouths shut.

aww, you flatter yourself.

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